There is a quote by Santosh Kalwar that states, "Love has no culture, boundaries, race, and religion. It is pure and beautiful like early-morning sunrise falling in lake." While this might be true, the year 2020 has made us more aware of the different experiences we face in this country based on the color of our skin. With this year's cultural climate shift, I was curious to learn more about the experience of being in an interracial relationship during this time. While I believe every relationship is different and has its own nuances, what does it look like when race has played a part in the relationship, if at any point at all? I was able to speak to two couples who offered some perspective on how they navigate everything together.
Courtney & Jackson
Courtesy of Courtney & Jackson
Courtney: We had been friends for 10 years and have been a couple for five. We basically met through mutual friends. Before I met Jackson, I've mostly dated within my race or been with men of color. With Jackson, for the more serious relationships, he has dated women of color before he met me. As far as race being an important part in our relationship, it is not something we center our relationship around. We talk about race a lot, and learning about Jackson's childhood was different than what I had expected. Hearing that he grew up in the inner city and he was around people that looked like me kind of checked me a little to not be as narrow-minded.
Jackson: I do feel that I have a different perspective than the average person from the South. I spent a lot of time in neighborhoods where I was the only white person. So I was exposed early on to the mistreatment that happens in communities and by law enforcement. Even in those moments, I knew I was treated differently than the people I was hanging out with.
Have you ever felt that you are treated differently by family and friends because you are in an interracial relationship?
Jackson: My parents were gracious when they didn't understand why I would bring black women home. So they have been working on things before they met Courtney. But with the recent Black Lives Matter movement, there have been great conversations.
Courtney: With Jack's parents, they grew up traditionally Republican. They also have a son (Jack) who dates black women and is a criminal defense attorney, so they get tidbits on how unfair the justice system is. With George Floyd, they were made aware of so many things at once. They have had some really in-depth and hard conversations with us as a couple, saying, "'We weren't fully where we are now and we want to talk about. We are a little upset we weren't there before, but we are here now and we want to ask and learn more.'" I think that's been one of the beauties of us being together in these times.
What is a misconception that you often face as an interracial couple?
Jackson: One misconception is that people don't understand that you are still handling things as a unit. People think that because we are in an interracial relationship, we [either] have things figured out, or the opposite, [with] people thinking that everything is screwed up in the relationship because of the crazy times. Neither one is true.
Courtney: For me being a black woman, I get put in this stereotype of white-washing my culture and intentionally trying to be with a white person instead of me being with the person I love. It's a little bit harder because if you speak to him and talk to him, you can understand why I'm with him. But on the surface it might not look that way, especially during the pandemic.
"As far as race being an important part in our relationship, it is not something we center our relationship around. We talk about race a lot, and learning about Jackson's childhood was different than what I had expected. Hearing that he grew up in the inner city and he was around people that looked like me kind of checked me a little to not be as narrow-minded."
Are there any things you had to unlearn about race in order to gain an understanding of each other?
Jackson: One thing that I will say in general—something that she repeats—'All skin folk aren't kinfolk.' Everybody that you expect to be on your side, whether they are related to you or because they look like you, is not always going to be on your side.
Courtney: That is something I am actively practicing, too, not just for people who look like me, but for people I have known my whole life. I am just trying to learn more about people because not everyone wants to learn more, and even though they look like you, you can't make them do anything they don't want to.
Ashley & Chea
Chea: We met for the first time at the Jay-Z and R. Kelly 'Best of Both Worlds' concert. I had recently gotten out of a relationship, and she was in a relationship at the time. She actually grew up with one of our mutual friends, Jero, who I ended up working with, and we would intentionally continue to cross paths and got introduced to each other.
Ashley: We were friends for four years before we started any commitment. We had a really deep friendship, so we both trusted each other. To be candid, at the time, we were just having fun. I wasn't thinking about being with him forever. So I didn't take his race into consideration. When I became pregnant, that is when race started to become a topic to discuss more.
Chea dated any woman he was attracted to regardless of race before we got together, where I specifically dated black men. I grew up in a pro-black community. So for me, when I visualized my life, I thought I was going to have dark brown babies like myself, marry a dark-skinned man, listen to Talib Kweli, and burn incense. It was intentional, but it wasn't exclusionary.
How do you educate one another (and yourselves) on your racial or cultural differences?
Chea: When we started our relationship, we really educated each other around the black culture and practicing [Islam]. She learned about my father's side and Buddhism. If we knew there was something that was important to us, we would share that with each other. I think what I have been mainly focusing on the last five years years is bridging the gap between what I've learned versus what I know from how I grew up.
I grew up in a majority-white neighborhood. So, 2020 has been an eye-opener where I'm not doing something correctly or no matter what I say, it's not making a substantial change. Whereas with Ashley, she's not at the point to sit down and educate people on how it is to be a black woman in America. She has been doing this her whole life, so she stands for educating yourself.
Have you ever felt you were being treated differently by family and friends because you were in an interracial relationship?
Chea: My mother is Caucasian and my father is Cambodian. It's layered, but on the surface, my mother's side was more accepting. We would go to family gatherings and there wouldn't be any issues really. On my father's side, the Asian side, the biggest pushback came from my stepmother. Both of my parents remarried, but with my father's side, there was confusion on how our relationship was coming together. You know, when people don't have an actual issue with something until it actually affects them? I think that's something you can apply to a lot of different things. Everything is great until it impacts you. Now five years into our marriage and 10 years into our relationship, I feel we are at a place where things are copacetic, but there are still those things that need to be worked through.
"I grew up in a pro-black community. So for me, when I visualized my life, I thought I was going to have dark brown babies like myself, marry a dark-skinned man, listen to Talib Kweli, and burn incense. It was intentional, but it wasn't exclusionary."
Were there things you had to teach your partner about being black in America that they may not have understood before?
Ashley: That's the thing about being in an interracial relationship. Chea doesn't experience the world the way I do. Even when I am getting profiled in a store, he is still existing in his own bubble. I sometimes would have to point it out to him and make him walk into a store and see who speaks to him. Now, watch when I walk in. I think these are things that white people miss everyday. When you are not existing in these spaces, you have the ability to look at things from an objective point of view, whereas we don't.
Chea: It's a very true experience and it's dependent on where we are, whether it's online or in-person.
"When you are not existing in these spaces, you have the ability to look at things from an objective point of view, whereas we don't."
Are there any things you had to unlearn about race in order to gain an understanding of each other?
Ashley: The growth for me came from within our marriage. I stopped looking at his Asian family as racist and started diving deeper into understanding where they are coming from having immigrated to this country. I don't think his family was being intentionally racist to me, they were just ignorant. But as soon as they got to know me, most of them changed immediately.
Chea: The thing that I had to unlearn is that every scenario doesn't always have the same outcome. For example, the police brutality, I think the common discourse for people who are not black is that, 'What did so and so do to get to this point?' That was my common way of thinking. Whether it was good or bad, something must have happened. I learned to let go of that and empathize more, regardless of what happened before.
Race aside, what is one thing that you truly enjoy about your partner?
Courtney: Jack is widely empathetic. He is able to relate to a lot of people on different journeys because he listens and can be present with them.
Jackson: There's a ton, but if I have to pick just one, it would be her creative spirit. I admire that about her and hope that her creative spirit sparks some creativity in me.
Ashley: Chea always felt like home to me, even before we were serious—when we were just friends. He is honestly one of my favorite people in the world. He is very loving and is a good person to everybody, not only to me which is important to me. If I had to choose one thing it would be his heart. Because that's where all of his good qualities stem from.
Chea: I feel like throughout various stages of our relationship I have loved her, and I just keep finding my love for her growing bigger. I can't really explain it. As I am trying to become a better person, she has been forcing me and helping me because she can see things I don't see. So I love her for that reason as well.
The two important things to know about relationships, whether you and your bae are of the same race or different races, are to be understanding of one another and to make your own rules. When you are intentional about knowing your partner's likes and dislikes, how you complement one another, and being empathetic to each other's experiences, race does not have to be a huge factor.
There will always be different obstacles that can make things challenging, but once you know who your partner is as a human being, you are able to create your own blueprint in order to make it through together. You should not go by other people's opinions or what others expect your relationship to be and with whom. At the end of the day, it is about what makes both of the people happy. Everyone is different and in the words of Chea, "Your results may vary."
Featured Image by Shutterstock
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Virgos are a sign of the mind. So, when you are looking at the love life and compatibility of a Virgo, you must start there. A Virgo’s heart is in their head, and they try to make decisions in love that are practical, well-thought-out, and that make sense to them. They love just as deeply as any other sign, but they also know that keeping their head on their shoulders will keep them out of trouble.
A Virgo wants a partner who is going to make life less stressful for them, and that only adds positively to their life. They will not commit to just anyone, and Virgo intellectualizes everything.
Yes, everything, including their relationships. They are known for their high standards, but this energy is matched by the dedication, loyalty, and thoughtfulness they bring into their relationships. There is a lot of thought that goes into who Virgo forms relationships with, and if you have caught the eye of a Virgo, you should feel special because that is no small feat.
Virgo Compatibility and Best Matches for Love
Virgo’s compatibility is unique because, at the end of the day, Virgo is a mutable sign, and they are always shifting and changing themselves. They value certain traditions in relationships, but they are also more progressive in how they go about things and who they attract. Virgos are looking for a partner who is intelligent, inspiring, and stable. They are the type of people to easily get the ick, so if you are interested in a Virgo, make sure you have it together before approaching them.
Virgo doesn’t have a hard time saying no, and they may have a lot of “no’s” before they find their person.
Once Virgo is in love and finds their person, however, it’s like a light has been sparked in them. A Virgo in a relationship brings out a whole different side of this earth sign, and when they feel safe enough to relax and just love, be and give, they are at their best.
Virgos are always there for their loved ones, they are smart, sexy, and they make great partners to have.
VIRGO + ARIES
Virgo and Aries are attracted to each other almost immediately. There is a fun, childlike wonder they both have when they are together, and they have a lot of insight to bring to the relationship. However, these two are often challenging each other as well. Aries wants to break down Virgo’s walls but may do so in a way that turns Virgo off. Virgo wants to keep up with Aries' energy levels and free-spirit nature, but Aries may find Virgo too wishy-washy to commit to.
Virgo and Aries see each other in very different ways than most others see them, and it’s hard to tell if they are absolutely in love with each other or if they secretly despise each other. If they can learn to work together rather than divide, then this relationship can bring a lot of abundance to each other’s lives.
VIRGO + TAURUS
Virgo and Taurus are a sweet couple. They are very enamored with each other, and they form a dedicated, loyal, and loving relationship. Virgo doesn’t have to try hard to win the affection of Taurus. The Virgo senses that they are accepted and loved by Taurus just as they are, and this is beautiful for Virgo. Taurus feels Virgo is strong, hilarious, and loving. Taurus admires Virgo's loyalty and the effort they put into their life and their relationships and wants to form a bond here.
The great thing about earth/earth sign relationships is that they get to know each other better than most, and they feel safe in each other’s presence. Their energy in the bedroom is magnetic, and they are often dancing in sync with each other. However, if a betrayal happens or trust is lost, this will be the detriment of the relationship in the long term.
VIRGO + GEMINI
This is a curious, exciting, and intense relationship. Gemini inspires Virgo but can also deeply trigger this earth sign through impulsiveness and irrationality. Gemini and Virgo are both ruled by Mercury, the planet of the mind. There is open communication in this relationship which is the couple’s strong point, but for Virgo, a lot of this tends to lead to overthinking. Gemini doesn’t make sense to Virgo, and Virgo doesn’t like when they can’t make sense of something.
Gemini doesn’t sense this from Virgo and just wants to have a conversation with the mind of someone who is so intriguing and unusual to them. Their openness mentally and in the bedroom are what fuels this relationship, but there may not be enough compatibility and stability here in the long run. The relationship between Virgo and Gemini is often better as a friendship or business relationship at the end of the day.
VIRGO + CANCER
Virgo and Cancer form a loving and sweet relationship. Cancer is instantly intrigued by Virgo and finds them endearing. Virgo can sense Cancer’s attraction toward them right away and want to learn more about this mysterious water sign. Virgo is interested in Cancer’s emotional world and learns a lot from Cancer about their own emotions. Although Cancer’s heart may feel too overpowering for Virgo’s rational mind and Virgo too analytical for Cancer’s openness, this usually isn’t a dealbreaker for them.
This is a relationship that is in it for the long term, and it often just works. What they both provide or want to provide in the relationship fits with one another, and this is a relationship that continues to get better with time. They are both best friends and lovers, and if they live together, their home would be clean, safe, and comfortable.
VIRGO + LEO
This is a passionate, rejuvenating relationship. Virgo and Leo are royalty, and when they come together, they exude this type of regalness and empowerment. They are both highly self-aware individuals, and where Leo expands energy, Virgo creates it. Virgo loves to be needed and valued, and Leo wants to be admired and adored. Virgo feels purposeful in this relationship as their attention to detail, dedication, and genuine acts of service are all acknowledged by Leo.
Leo feels like they are truly being seen in this relationship, as they feel Virgo’s keen eye and attentive love.
The only downfall of this connection is that Leo needs to lead, and Virgo doesn’t choose between leading or following but absolutely doesn’t prefer the latter. Virgo isn’t as submissive as Leo may assume at first, and perspectives and egos can clash here. If these two are looking for a power couple in life, however, this could definitely be it.
VIRGO + VIRGO
Virgo and Virgo are an odd yet beautiful couple. Virgos are one of the only signs who respect their own sign but aren’t necessarily attracted to the energy as well. No two Virgos are exactly alike, and although Virgos will see the similarities between each other, they will also feel like their own weaknesses are being highlighted in the process, and this is an uncomfortable mirror of a relationship.
Virgos love to make sense of things, yet are very hard to make sense of. In a relationship where both signs are mutable, it can be hard to stabilize the energy and grasp what is going on or commit. They will have funny banter and intellectual conversations and will tend to each other’s needs but may feel like something is missing between the connection at the end of the day.
VIRGO + LIBRA
Virgo and Libra don’t seem fitting at first until you dive a little deeper. Virgo and Libra uniquely understand each other. Libra highlights Virgo’s beauty and wants them to recognize more of their inner confidence and self-assurance. Virgo helps Libra think rationally and make decisions that benefit rather than create more drama. The problem, however, is that they may start to feel that they are stepping on each other’s toes.
Neither sign is too confrontational, and this relationship can be filled with a lot of beating around the bush and passive-aggressiveness. When they’re sweet together, they’re sweet. When things aren’t going well, they may go too low and hurt one another. This relationship has a lot of potential, but work will need to be done to make sure things don’t end in heartbreak here.
VIRGO + SCORPIO
Virgo and Scorpio are a match made in heaven, most of the time. No relationship is perfect, but it comes pretty close for both of them. They are both very intuitive, loving, and perceptive individuals, and they bring a lot of the same energy into the relationship. They have a genuine connection they don’t have to fake or work too hard to obtain, and these two love to spend time together and be in each other’s company.
Virgo and Scorpio are a lot alike, but they have enough differences to keep things exciting and help each other learn and grow as well.
The love between the two is felt right away, and you often see Virgo and Scorpio pairings in close family and friend relationships, as well as long-term romantic couples. There is a safeness felt in this relationship, and if they are both in a healthy, evolved stage in life, this relationship is like magic for both of them.
VIRGO + SAGITTARIUS
This couple isn’t one you see often, and when you do see it, you can tell how out-of-the-ordinary, yet so fitting, this relationship is. Think Beyoncé and Jay-Z; this is a great example of a Virgo and Sagittarius relationship. It works because Sagittarius opens up a new world to Virgo and brings out their fun side. They help Virgo not take things too seriously, and this is a couple who knows how to have fun together.
Sagittarius is inspired by Virgo as well. Being a philosophical sign, they admire Virgo’s intellect and belief systems, seeing Virgo as someone who at times, is a little uptight but also respects their stature and the way they handle themselves. This isn’t an easy, compatible relationship, but if they are willing to work together and learn about each other, it can work out.
VIRGO + CAPRICORN
Virgo and Capricorn are soulmates. This is a relationship where they naturally get each other, and they flow in sync with one another. There is a special bond between a Virgo and a Capricorn, and this bond usually lasts long term. Neither sign gives too much energy into things they don’t think are going anywhere, and with each other, they give a lot. There is something to say about earth, and earth sign relationships, however, things can get stale or stagnant after a while.
The comfort they feel between each other is unforgettable, however, their similarities may be their downfall unless they aren’t actively growing as individuals and in the relationship as well. All this relationship needs is some extra spice, fun times, and more emotional openness with each other, and it has all the chances of making it down the aisle if that is what they are both looking for.
VIRGO + AQUARIUS
Virgo and Aquarius have a mental connection more than anything. They get where each other is coming from, and with the high intellect they both have, this relationship is full of conversation, laughter, and friendship. Aquarius values a mental connection the most in their relationships, which is why they are often very intrigued with Virgos.
Virgo, however, tends to need more than Aquarius is willing to give emotionally.
Virgo needs alone time and handles emotions more rationally, as does an Aquarius, but Virgo is more sensitive to matters of the heart and does need more reassurance here. This pairing may be better off as friends unless they can bridge the gap between each other that is deeply felt.
VIRGO + PISCES
Virgo and Pisces have a unique relationship full of magic, dreams, and also some tough lessons. They are sister signs, meaning these two are on the exact opposite sides of the zodiac wheel, and they have a special kind of relationship. They are basically everything the other is not. They go together like yin and yang, but they can also deeply trigger each other as well due to the opposition. The positives of this relationship are that they are both givers and they are intuitive of each other's needs.
Virgo and Pisces are both very selfless and compassionate in their relationships, and they give each other this type of understanding and attentiveness in love. There is something genuine about the connection between this pair that makes you believe in the impossible.
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